Founder Interview: Alan Blakeborough, Second Hand Geek, Cohort 7

Second Hand Geek is a marketplace for tabletop gamers to buy, sell, and customize their pieces

We had the opportunity to chat with Alan Blakeborough, Founder & CEO, to learn about the inspiration behind the platform, the challenges faced, and the vision driving their success.

Tell us about your team.

Alan and Jeff met at a hobby store that Alan owned in Easley, SC called Crazy Beanz and Beadz.  It was a gaming cafe back in 2010.  

We have worked and know each other for over 14 years.  Alan and Jeff met Thomas through his podcast show called Manaverse.  

Together, we are going to build the one tabletop marketplace to rule them all!

As a founder, what is a lesson you wished you learned sooner?

Launch quickly, identify your ICP, adjust and relaunch.  Rise and repeat.

How did you validate your idea?

We started talking about our idea in Facebook trade groups, tabletop gaming events and actual brick and mortar stores.  Then, we started getting sign ups from players and stores. We had folks listing and buying in the first month!

How did you acquire your first customers?

Posts in Facebook Warhammer trade groups and online communities.

What has been the most difficult part of your founder journey?

Being able to envision what I want the final product to be and it's functionality.  Then, seeing where we are today and the long road ahead.  

To climb a mountain it takes a lot of small steps forward and sometimes a few backwards.

What has been the most rewarding part of your founder journey?

The relationships with other entrepreneurs who see what can be, not what is.

How did you know it was time to go full time on your startup?

Every day 2 billion transactions take place on eBay!  There are 312M tabletop game related transactions on eBay a year.  Etsy, Patreon and Kickstarter also have small parts that serve our tabletop gaming industry.  We have a lot of work to build a home that serves our community.

Kelly Schricker

Principal at LAUNCH

Kelly is a Principal at LAUNCH, an investment firm founded by angel investor Jason Calacanis. She spends her time supporting founders. She co-hosts Founder University’s 12-week program and Founder University Podcast. Prior to LAUNCH, Kelly was VP of Operations at, and helped grow revenue from <$1M to $4M+ in 3 years. She's spent over 10 years in early-stage startups, as a founder and early employee focusing on growth and operations.

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